The researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a new method to make solar cells from a metal oxide available in toothpaste.
The research team, headed by Henry Snaith of the university’s physics department, integrated the oxide with a thin dye printed on to glass to convert the sun’s energy into electricity.
The glass can be manufactured in a wide range of transparent colors for usages in cladding buildings and windows. Snaith said that it would bring in more adaptabilities and potential for building designs. Since the production method utilizes widely available non-toxic substances, the amount of carbon emissions can be significantly reduced when compared to competitive technologies. Snaith further said that the research team is working on to enhance the efficiency of the solar cells.
Ollie Bennett of MiPower, a specialist in installing solar panels, commented that he has not witnessed anything similar to the new solar cells on the market. He further said that the new solar cell is an innovative idea and could be a precursor.